There is no such thing as an easy blackjack site. However, there are such things as easy blackjack games, or rather “easier” blackjack games. And that’s what we will focus on here as we focus on the games that are much easier to beat and the casinos that provide them.
Hard and Easy Blackjack Games
To understand how a game is “easier” than another, you need to understand just how blackjack works. It’s easy to just assume that all games of blackjack are the same and that you have a similar chance of success and failure on all of them. But that is not the case.
Every game of blackjack has something that is known as a “house edge”. This is often displayed as a percentage and it shows you how many games the casino will win (on average) over the long haul. For instance, a house edge of 1% means that the casino can expect to take a profit of $1 for every $100 that is gambled.
This doesn’t mean that you will lose $99 if you gamble $100 though. These averages are taken over the course of millions of games, and you could just as easily walk away with a huge win every time you play. This is especially true if you use Basic Blackjack Strategy, which helps to reduce the odds a little more.
The difference is slight, but the house edge on some blackjack games is equally slight and by using Basic Blackjack Strategy on these games you can effectively tip the balance in your favour, or at the very least put you and the casino on an even keel.
What is the Best House Edge?
A “hard” game can be defined as anything above 0.50%, because while this seems low (and is indeed low when compared to other popular casino games) there are games that have much lower percentages. An “easy” game is something that has a house edge of less than 0.30%, and the lower it is the easier it is.
Blackjack games don’t always advertise their percentages, simply because the casual player doesn’t understand what they mean, and it’s the casual player that most casinos want to target. But you can usually decipher this information for yourself based on simple factors:
The more decks there are, the higher the house edge will be. A single deck game of blackjack reduces the edge by 0.03%, and is therefore much more favourable to the player. As you add more decks, this number tips firmly in the casino’s favour, all the way up to 8 decks, which give the casino an edge of around 0.44%.
While bonuses and side bets may look like they benefit the player, they rarely do. The vast majority of these exist solely for the purpose of luring more players in and increasing the house edge at the same time. Typically, the less you add to a game of blackjack, the lower the house edge will be; the more you add, the higher it will be. But there is an exception:
The exception to the above rule kicks in when special features are added. These features give the player an advantage not usually present. Double Exposure Blackjack is a great example of this. It works by exposing the dealer’s cards, thus giving the player a better idea of what they are up against. Switch is also advantageous as it lets the player play two hands at once and swap the cards of those hands.
Finally, you need to look at the payout for a blackjack, the dealer actions, and the rules on splits and doubles. The first of these tends to have the biggest impact. It should be 3:2 or 3 to 2, but some games tweak this and reduce it to 6:5 or 6 to 5. It means you win less when you land a blackjack, and while this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it is significant in the long-run.
Blackjack Games to Avoid
Now that we have gotten the basics out of the way, let’s focus on the games you should and should not play. First up, the games that you should avoid:
- Spanish 21: This is a bonus-heavy game that does everything wrong and has a huge house edge that no self-respecting blackjack professional would touch. Some casinos have actually phased out standard blackjack games altogether to replace them with Spanish 21, such is the popularity of these games with casual players. But if you want to win at blackjack, don’t play this variant.
- Pontoon: Also known as European Blackjack, this one has a high house edge thanks to a low payout and a high number of decks. It is commonplace in European casinos, but thankfully it is somewhat rare in North America.
Blackjack Games to Play
As for the games that you should focus on, many of these can be found on the Microgaming software, which still offers basic and generous games of blackjack even though many other developers have focused more on Spanish 21:
- Vegas Blackjack: The simplest form and the best form of blackjack. It should use 1 deck, allow you to make doubles and splits, and not contain any side bets or low payouts.
- Double Exposure: A Microgaming classic that lets you see the dealer’s card in order to gain an advantage you wouldn’t usually have playing on other games of blackjack. As any professional players will tell you, the dealer’s cards are the most important cards on the table, and the fact that you can see them both means you are in a very strong position.
- Switch Blackjack: This began as a Playtech title, but it quickly made its way into online casino as well. As mentioned already, Switch lets you “switch” your cards, either to create two strong hands or to sacrifice two weak ones to create one strong one. It cuts down on a lot of losses from terrible hands and helps professional players increase their profits.